Happy Holidays to the Dysfunctional Family!
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Termination of Joint Legal Custody in NM: Why and How?
New Mexico is one of the few states that presumes that joint legal custody is in the best interest of a child. With a joint legal custody arrangement, each parent has significant periods of responsibility for the child and the parents work together to make major decisions about the child. But what happens when one of the parties asks to terminate joint custody? How do courts handle that situation? In making their initial determination about custody, New Mexico courts use the “best interest of the child” standard. Many factors go into this determination.
After a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, the court will issue a temporary domestic order. This order gives the parties general instructions about how to interact with each other, as well as how to deal with their finances, children, and property until the divorce is final. In addition, at this point in the proceedings, either party can ask the court to provide temporary relief.
Domestic violence can have a significant impact in a New Mexico custody determination, and that is how it should be. Children are one of the most vulnerable populations in our society. The way they are raised, particularly when domestic abuse is an issue, is a significant concern for the state.
Have you ever wondered what the term “joint custody” means? In New Mexico, there is an initial legal presumption that the best interests of a child are served by awarding joint custody to both parents. But once a court decides to award joint custody, what does that mean for the child and the parents? In New Mexico, the term “joint custody” has a very specific meaning that is defined by law. The short legal definition is that it “means an order of the court awarding custody of a child to two parents.”
Custodial interference is a felony in New Mexico. This offense is committed when someone disrupts the custody or visitation rights of a child’s parent. It can even be committed by the child’s other parent, who has a right to physical custody of the child at certain times.
Many parents want to know whether a parenting plan is absolutely necessary in a New Mexico dissolution proceeding. Generally speaking, the answer is “yes.” A parenting plan is required by state law every time joint custody is awarded. Additionally, it is in the best interest of children for parental expectations to be clear.
A significant issue for parents who are divorced or who never married is their ability to relocate, particularly over the objection of the other parent. The decision to move or relocate is never easy. When children are involved, it is even more difficult.